That's a Wrap...Thank You for Your Support in 2019!
It is timely at the end of another busy year to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by so many volunteers around Australia who support paddling at all levels. Whilst it can be dangerous to single out groups of volunteers, this year I would like to make mention of two groups whose lives have been busier during 2019 than they were probably expecting!

In 2018, the many club volunteers that contributed to the Strategic Plan for Paddling in Australia left us in no doubt that the highest priority was for a functional membership platform that would allow clubs to more effectively manage their activities. During this year, we have worked together to roll out GoMembership. 

This change has meant a considerable amount of additional work for club administrators. I am very grateful to everyone for the enthusiastic and positive way that they have embraced the new platform. Whilst it has meant investing some additional time in the short term, we are already seeing the long term benefits of a more efficient system. Thank you.

This year has also seen Paddle Australia working closely with our colleagues in the State Paddling Associations (SPAs) on an initiative we have called 'United Paddling Management', consistent with our Vision for 'A United Paddling Community'. Our aim is simple - to take advantage of efficiencies and remove duplication, so reducing the time we spend on administration, management and compliance, allowing us all to focus more on development, promotion and advocacy. 

My thanks to the staff and the volunteers in our State Paddling Associations. Together, we have taken some major steps forward that will see us better able to support our clubs and members in the future. Our job is to provide the environment for paddling to flourish. United Paddling Management plays a key part in this.

On behalf of the board and staff at Paddle Australia, and I'm sure all the State Paddling Associations, thank for all for your support over the past 12 months. 

If you are lucky enough to be paddling over these holidays, take care and stay safe on the water. A very Happy Christmas and New Year to you and your loved ones. 
Yours in Paddling  

Phil Jones, CEO of Paddle Australia
See a Collection of Highlights from the Year... Bring on 2020!
Laura White Makes the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics Official
Laura White will fulfil her childhood dream next year after being selected for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. However, unlike most Olympic dreams, White won’t be competing at the Games. Instead, she will be officiating.

White started assisting at state and national events while still in school and was inspired by mentor Sharyn Bojczenko who showed her another pathway to the Olympics.

After qualifying as an official at just 18 years old, White has learnt from both the good and bad experiences across her career, which has which has culminated in her selection as the first female Australian Deputy Chief Judge at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Read more about Laura White's journey to the Paralympic Games as an official here >>>

International Volunteer Day - 5th December 2019
Thursday 5th December was International Volunteer Day so we would like to say a big thank you to all volunteers for the countless time, effort and dedication which you contribute to our sport. We couldn’t do what we do without you! See above for photos of just some of our fabulous volunteers.
Expressions of Interest for members of the Paddle Australia Discipline Technical Committees

Paddle Australia (PA) is seeking nominations for our Discipline Technical Committees (DTC).

PA have eight DTC, one for each of our Disciplines, Canoe Freestyle, Canoe Marathon, Canoe Ocean Racing, Canoe Polo, Canoe Slalom, Canoe Sprint, Stand Up Paddling, and Wildwater Canoeing.

See below for more information on the role of the PA DTC, the selection criteria and the full expression of interest and application information. 

Please click here >>>
Should You Paddle When There's Smoke Haze?
Summer is upon us which unfortunately means that so are bushfires. Hazardous smoke has recently choked areas in NSW and south-east QLD, and with more hot weather predicted, these conditions could continue across Australia.

It's important to understand when it's safe to exercise or when you should be staying indoors. The Australian Institute of Sport has put together best practice guidelines regarding smoke pollution and exercise. This is specifically for those who train outdoors at higher exercise intensities and longer durations, such as when paddling.

Before going for a paddle this summer, make sure you check the AIS guidelines and your local Air Quality Index (AQI).
Beachsafe App
Whether you're going for a paddle or just looking for the right beach near you, Surf Life Saving Australia's Beachsafe app includes the location, weather, surf conditions and hazards plus the local facilities for all Australian beaches.

Beachsafe also provides expert advice about rip currents, flags and signs, waves, marine creatures, surf skills and more.

The Beachsafe app is available on Apple and Android devices.
Fairfield Canoe Club: 100 Years in the Making

One of the oldest canoe clubs in Australia, Fairfield Canoe Club, celebrated 100 years of paddling on the River Yarra this year. Since 1919, FCC has witnessed the evolution of the river, the effects of the Depression, two World Wars, and the Melbourne Olympic Games, all of which have had an influence on the Club and its members. 

Read more about the history of the Fairfield Canoe Club here >>>

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Olympic Dreams Start at Canoe Sprint GP1

Paddle Australia’s national canoe sprint series kicked off in style with top-level racing at the Canoe Sprint Grand Prix 1 in Adelaide over the weekend (6-8 December 2019).

Just eight months out from the start of the Tokyo 2020 canoe sprint events, Australia’s current and aspiring Olympians presented themselves in strong form at the season opener and ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic selection season next year.

Click here for a wrap up from the event and all the results >>> 

MAKAI Cup to Host 2020 PA Canoe Ocean Racing Championships

An agreement between Paddle Australia, Paddle New South Wales and the MAKAI Paddlers will see the 2020 Paddle Australia Canoe Ocean Racing Championships included within the MAKAI Cup.

The MAKAI Cup is a downwind ocean paddling event, to be held in Ulladulla on the South Coast of New South Wales on February 8 and 9 next year.

Stay up to date with the event details here >>>

Arthur River (Tasmania)
This river is suitable for relative novices with at least one experienced party member. It has a good deal of flat water and regular rapids up to grade 3. 

Campsites are plentiful and this trip could be included with Hellyer sections for a week long camping trip. There are a number of exit points at the bridges if shorter trips are desired.
McGrath Celebrates Champion Season with Male Para-Athlete of the Year Award
Paddle Australia’s war veteran turned sporting star Curtis McGrath has capped off an outstanding season to be named Male Para-athlete of the Year at the 2019 Australian Institute of Sport Performance Awards (ASPAs).

McGrath successfully defended his KL2 200m and VL3 200m world titles at the 2019 ICF Para-canoe World Championships in Hungary. The fact that these were his ninth and 10th consecutive world titles augur well for McGrath’s KL200 Paralympic gold medal defence in 2020.

With the Vaa’ outrigger canoe events premiering on the Paralympic program in Tokyo 2020, McGrath will have the
chance to go for double gold at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games next year.

Read a full report from the ASPAs >>>

Discover more about the soldier turned sporting superstar >>>

Mel Gray from Western Paddlers NSW has gotten into the festive spirit with these beautiful decorations on her kayak.

It might make it a bit trickier getting into the boat though...

So... How Did We Go?
What do you think of this newsletter? What would you like to see in future editions?

All comments and feedback are welcome and will help us to make sure that we're providing the updates that you care about most!

We would also love to hear about what paddlers are getting up to! Send in your photos, videos or stories to be featured in Paddle Pulse.

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Our mailing address is:
PO Box 6805
Silverwater NSW 2128